The Rock of Ages

Pitching an animated show in Hollywood is never easy. It takes not only a brilliant idea, but determination, perseverance and finding the precise fit at exactly the right time. So when an executive producer, backed by Primary Wave music publishing, came to us with a hilarious new show idea about a Brit pop band that goes on a Scooby Doo-ish caper every episode, we wanted to give The Rock of Ages its best chance to be sold. 

Concept Art

Original Art by Johnny Ryan

Prolific and widely published alternative comic book artist Johnny Ryan collaborated on the idea for the show and provided the original concept art. He also did the initial line art and character illustrations shown here and in the panels below.

Globen Joe Character Art Turnaround

Limited Line Art

The client provided us with Johnny’s line art. We were fans of the simple and fun style infused with a quirky point of view. Typically when we animate, we begin with extensive multi-layered illustrations with all of the character’s features separated. But for this project we’d have to be crafty with the animation as we had just the bare essentials to work with. 

Facial Expression Line Art Illustrations

Rock of Ages Character Art

Record Juggling Illustration

Color Art

We also received some full color illustrations for reference which we used to develop the show’s color palette and fill in the line art. We added in props and other illustrations that the animation would need. 

Final Illustrations
Animatic Animation Panel

Animating to the Animatic

Basic shots were sketched out in the animatic so we had a blueprint for the timing that we would need to animate to. We’d also have to conjure up our imaginations to weave the shots together in an engaging way. 

Background Art

With limited available art, we created all of the backgrounds for the video to add dimension to the 2D art, then overlayed effects and gradients to give the animation its vintage look.

Rock of Ages Background Art

Animation Creation

With pitch meetings looming, the client wanted the trailer video completed in a month. Our team got to work using minimal key art but plenty of After Effects.

Animation Timeline
Rock of Ages Animation Frame

Animating in After Effects

Adobe’s After Effects worked well for this type character animation with limited art. We developed a custom DUIK pipeline through trial and error to rig up the characters into puppets. Using all of the tricks of the trade, we turned the static illustrations into compelling characters that were zooming to the top of the charts. We overlayed gradients for a retro cartoon-y look and mixed in sound effects to polish it off. 

Love it. Awesome.

–Todd G., Executive Producer